Not Quite Beer . . .


I grabbed the bottle of Hornsby’s Amber Draft off the shelf when I was searching for those one of a kind beers that I planned to include in my taste testing to reach master beer connoisseur status.  It looked like beer, the light lager or ale type, nice label, and since I had not heard of it previously I thought it was a good choice.

I paused before opening the bottle when I saw the words ‘’hard cider’ . . . mmmmmmmm I thought.  Cider is made with apples.  Did they make beer with apples?  Then I looked to see the name of the brewery and where it came from.  Uh oh, not a brewery after all but it was E & J Gallo Winery, out of Modesto, California who produced and bottled Hornsby’s.

This is what Real Beer Blog ( says: “Hornsby’s Hard Cider is not quite a beer but it does go through a similar process.  It is a pale amber color and light on carbonization with not much of a head.”  “It has a mildly sweet flavor of apples to it . . . I would recommend this to anyone who is not much of a bitter beer fan . . .”

Well, before I read their comments I had already come to that conclusion, it was apple cider.  Now I now why it is called HARD cider.  I had heard of hard cider before but never realized the HARD meant it had alcohol in it.  Well, I’m a fan of apple juice and apple cider, so even though this turned out not to be a beer I rather enjoyed it. 

I’d say if you were giving a party, say down by the beach, and there were some folks there not into beer per se, but it was a clam bake or something like that, then cool brews in bottles would be a perfect match.  So, throw in a few Hornsby’s Hard Cider amber draft for those non-beer drinkers.  By the way, their beer might be 3.2%, 5.6% or 4.2% alcohol by volume, but Hornsby’s amber draft is 6.4% by volume.  Not a bad kick for non beer.

The winery that bottles Hornsby’s, E & J Gallo has a passion for quality, and it really shows in this hard cider drink.  For more than 75 years, Ernest and Julio Gallo have focused on perfection and quality, passing it onto their children and grandchildren, and today they are the world’s largest family-owned winery and the largest exporter of wine from California.

When you visit their website you will learn a great deal about them, their wines as well as food pairings.  Sadly they did not include any recommendations for Hornsby’s Hard Cider.  So, let me provide my recommendation.  Grilled salmon or a succulent pork loin would be ideal.  The mild sweetness and distinct apple flavor would be a great enhancement to these entrees.   And, while I may not make this my go to beverage I believe I have found something that I’d like to drink every now and then, especially on a hot sultry day.  Hmmm ice cold hard apple cider, Hornsby’s that is!

“On victory, you deserve beer, in defeat, you need it.” – Napoleon

If you were of Filipino descent you might say this,” Bukas ay isa pang araw, at ako ay bumalik.”


About scoop1942

I am 74-years young with six grandchildren and one great-grandson, two great granddaughters, professional and recreational blogger, previous graphic artist, hospitality industry veteran, Jill of all trades; master of a few, plus hobbiest, re-cycler and dreamer. My steadfast companion for 17 years, Bubba, who is now deceased, reminded me daily of what loyalty was all about. I now have a rescued dog who has turned out to be the best dog I've every had; Annie, who is part Shepherd, part Boston is sweet natured and a wonderful companion. You can now find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Oh my; while social media may not have been meant for Grandmothers, it has sure turned my world on end . . . what else will technology bring our way. I just recently got a smart phone and texting is my game . . . LOL

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